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Hamas has stepped up efforts to kidnap soldiers, claims Israeli media

Yahya Sinwar (C), Palestinian leader of Hamas in Gaza Strip, greets people during an event marking the 35th anniversary of the establishment of Hamas in Gaza City, Gaza on December 14, 2022. [Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency]
Yahya Sinwar (C), Palestinian leader of Hamas in Gaza Strip in Gaza City, Gaza on December 14, 2022 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has stepped up its efforts to kidnap Israeli soldiers to use as additional leverage in any future prisoner swap with the occupation state, it has been claimed.

"Hamas is trying to step up kidnapping attempts as it is growing desperate after the negotiations have been halted over the group's demand to release Palestinian terrorists [sic] from Israeli prisons," claimed Israel's public broadcaster Kan. "The movement is ready to face a possible devastating response from Israel to the kidnappings in the hope of gaining extra bargaining chips to force Israel to meet its conditions and regain its fading support among [Palestinians in Gaza]."

The reports emerged following the release of a short video showing an Israeli captive in Gaza asking where the state of Israel is for him and three other captives. Avera Mengistu called for the Israeli occupation government to help release him and the others from captivity.

READ: Hamas will not release Israel captives without 'honourable swap'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recognised that the video is genuine and showed Mengistu. He claimed that the hostage is suffering from a psychological disorder, and blamed Hamas for the deterioration in his health.

On Tuesday, i24 news reported that Israel has sent letters to Pope Francis and senior officials of UN bodies, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as well as Red Cross President Gail McGovern and World Health Organisation Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, requesting their help to obtain the release of Israeli citizens and the bodies of soldiers held in Gaza.

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